No. 1 Riverdale weathers loss
It has been an odd start to the season for top-ranked girls’ basketball team Riverdale Baptist.
The Crusaders (1-2) have beaten a defending Tennessee state finalist (Memphis Central), lost to a locally ranked team (Osbourn Park) and are still awaiting the eligibility status of senior center Tierra Hawkins, a returning — they hope — third team All-Met. And next week, the team heads to the Nike Tournament of Champions in Arizona.
No. 20 Osbourn Park erased a 14-point second-half lead to knock off Riverdale, 47-43, on Friday. A 27-9 run in the fourth quarter was the difference. Crusaders senior guard Ataira Franklin (Virginia) scored 18 points.
Riverdale finished No. 1 last season with a 26-3 record and entered this season nestled in the top spot.
“The shots didn’t fall in the end,” Riverdale Coach Diane Richardson said. “Hopefully it will be a wakeup call, and hopefully we’ll get in there and work on some things we need to work on.
“It just gives a chance for our young kids to look at what the competition is like and be prepared for it. When you’re ranked, people always bring you their ‘A’ game. We have to be aware of that each and every game.”
The loss came a week after Riverdale had upended Memphis Central, 74-60, then ranked in at least one national poll, at the Tennessee Turkey Jamm in Memphis. The Crusaders also lost a game in that tournament.
As for Hawkins (Delaware State), she attended National Christian as a freshman during the 2005-06 school year, but that program did not complete its season. According to box scores reported to the paper, she played in seven games.
The Post reported at the time National Christian did not play its remaining 13 games because injuries and academic ineligibilities left the team with four players. The squad was carrying only seven girls, all freshmen, according to that story.
So Riverdale is awaiting word from the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association on whether Hawkins will be granted a fifth — or fourth, as far as Riverdale is concerned — season.
Richardson said there is no set time for her school to hear back from the MPSSAA.
“Hopefully she gets to play, because she’s a great kid,” Richardson said. “But we’ve got to plan either way.”
December 7, 2009; 11:38 AM ET
Categories: Girls basketball , Riverdale Baptist
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